Dubai is the gateway to wider the Middle East region


Ibrahim Mohamed Aljanahi, Deputy CEO of Jafza, the UAE’s flagship free zone entity, reiterated the strategic importance of Dubai as the hub to access and serve the thriving market of more than 2.5 billion consumers in the wider Middle East region, at the “Invest in Dubai” seminar organized by Falcon and Associates during “Dubai Week in China” in Beijing. He was speaking at the panel discussion “Why Dubai” within the seminar.

He talked about the historic Dubai-China relation that continues to grow stronger by every passing year.

Aljanahi said: “Dubai-China trading relations go back to the days of the Silk Road that continues unabated with Dubai and Jafza playing a crucial role in supporting HE President Xi Jinping’s One Belt, One Road initiative providing China with efficient multi-modal connections to key markets across Asia, Africa and Europe. These are the markets we as a trade and logistics hub serve.”

He was referring to the initiative unveiled by President Xi Jinping during his visit to Kazakhstan in October 2013, which called for the integration of the entire region into a cohesive economic area through cultural exchanges and broadening of trade.

“China is at present the biggest trade partner of Jafza. More than 248 leading Chinese multinationals in diverse sectors, from oil and gas, electronics, heavy machinery, engineering, construction to automotive, have chosen Jafza as their home. All these companies are serving the entire region through their respective regional headquarters at the Free Zone,” Aljanahi added.

Stressing on the role of Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) as the logistics hub for serving all key markets in the wider Middle East region, which spans from West Asia, the CIS, Africa and the Indian Subcontinent Aljanahi said: “The evolution of Dubai as the gateway and a hub for such a huge market demonstrates the power of great vision and astute planning. Dubai’s visionary rulers thought ahead of time and developed world-class economic and transport infrastructure to evolve Dubai from a small trading centre to an international business hub for the region. Jafza was created in 1985 and in the last thirty years, leveraging Dubai’s outstanding multimodal facilities grew into one of the world’s finest logistics hubs. The Free Zone attracted practically all big multinationals into the Free Zone who were interested in the wider Middle East’s rapidly growing economies. Thousands of world’s top multinationals today have established their regional headquarters in Jafza and serve all key markets in the entire region efficiently.”

Aljanahi also talked about the recently developed Dubai Logistics Corridor which allows all Jafza-based companies to transfer their cargo from one mode to another in less than an hour, the fastest turn-around in the world.

Jafza is the only free zone in the world, which is located between the two largest trade enablers viz. Jebel Ali Port, the largest container terminal, and Al Maktoum International Airport, the biggest cargo and passenger airport, in the region. The Free Zone is also just 30-minutes’ drive away from the Dubai International Airport.

“Dubai is today considered one of the top aviation hubs in the world with Dubai International Airport ranked the busiest airport. More than 140 airlines serve Dubai and Al Maktoum International Airports providing the fastest air connection to reach any destination in the world at the shortest possible time. Jebel Ali Port, on the other hand, is today one of the top 10 container ports in the world and the largest in the region. More than 170 main shipping lines call the port providing efficient sea connections to all major trading corridors across the world,” Aljanahi said.

Hongbin Kong, MD – Invest Dubai, Falcon Associates, welcomed the guests. Arif Amiri, Deputy CEO of DIFC, delivered key note speech before the panel discussion on “Why Dubai” The panelist were Hongbin Cong, MD, Invest Dubai; Gerald Lawless, President and CEO, Jumairah Group and Ibrahim Aljanahi, Deputy CEO of Jafza. The panel discussion included an extensive Q&A session where officials answered all queries from Chinese investors.


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